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State structure and administrative division

The department of Lot consists of 3 arrondissements, 31 cantons and 340 communes. The capital of Lot is Cahors.

France is a democratic republic created in 1789, when the French Revolution put an end to the monarchy and the feudal form of government. There are 101 departments in total (96 in France and 5 in the overseas territories), all numbered in alphabetical order. The departments turned out to be too small to function properly and so the country was redivided into 22 regions. The department of Lot is part of the Midi-Pyrenees region with Toulouse as its capital. The region manages the main roads and secondary and vocational education, culture and tourism are also in the hands of the regional government.

Every six years, people go to the polls to elect a departmental council, the 'Conseil Régional'. They, in turn, elect the department's executive committee. At the head is the chairman, formerly the prefect, the representative of the national government. The department is further subdivided into cantons, which in turn are subdivided into municipalities (communes). At the head of a commune is a mayor (maire). For the current political situation in France, see History.


From the age of two, children can already attend the "maternelle" kindergarten. Compulsory education is from six to seventeen and all children start their school career at the 'école élémentaire', a primary school of five classes. From eleven to fifteen, children attend a 'collège', the first four years of secondary school, the 'lycée', where they start in the sixth grade. After the collège, they can choose between a general and a vocational three-year course. A diploma from the general course gives access to university.


Best, J. / Dordogne, Limousin met Quercy en Berry

Denez, F. / Dordogne, Lot, Périgord, Quercy

Dordogne, Périgord : Périgueux, Bergerac, Cahors, Rocamadour

Graaf, G. de / Dordogne, Limousin

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated March 2024
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